One aspect of North Korea's nuclear activity is being steadfastly
ignored: you can use nukes to make more nukes.
Take lots of natural uranium - which North Korea has in abundance - and
stack it up in a pile. Place a small nuclear device near it, preferably
underground and let it off. Small is good as it spreads less debris and
makes more neutrons. Underground is good because it catches the bits.
Then, send a few expendable citizens in a few days later after the
initial radioactivity has decayed off to recover the irradiated uranium.
This is now loaded with plutonium, which can be separated using simple
chemical techniques rather than all that tedious faffing around with
This is not a secret technique, and it would surprise the hell out of me
if the Koreans weren't at least testing the concept. If they aren't,
someone is likely to be shot for incompetence, and that's a powerful
motivator. Could it be that - gasp - they're not complete imbeciles as
the US administration would have us believe, and are in fact cunning